Lesbians, bisexual women and transgender (LBT) individuals in Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sri Lanka face violence and exclusion in every sphere of their lives. This violence is fueled by laws that criminalize same-sex relations and gender non-conformity and encouraged by governments who tolerate, endorse, or directly sponsor the violent clamp-down on those who do not follow prevailing norms on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

This report reflects the main finding from research coordinated by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and conducted over a two-year period by women’s rights, sexuality rights and gender rights activists based in Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines and Sri Lanka. Interviews were conducted in Japanese, English, Malay, Tamil, Urdu, Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano and Sinhala. The researchers uncovered high levels of family violence perpetrated against LBT individuals as well as widespread discrimination in education, health and work sectors.

The five-country study confirmed the existence of complex layers of intersecting discrimination where violence against LBT individuals was not only motivated by rejection of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression but, in many instances, also other identity markers (e.g., race, ethnicity, class, economic status, religion, economic status). In this way, LBT individuals were punished by their families and communities for “betraying” their heritage, religion and culture. Those without financial advantage to “get out of” violent situations or who were targeted for violence because they were poor were even more vulnerable because of increased opportunities for violence.

Related Resources

Upcoming Webinar! From a Spiral of Violence to a Whirlwind of Healing: Strengthening Advocacy for API LGBTQ Survivors

Domestic violence and intimate partner abuse have often been understood in terms of men’s violence against women. However, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer-identified individuals consistently experience intimate partner violence at similar rates as heterosexual women. With 21-55% of Asian women reporting experiences of intimate physical and/or sexual violence during their lifetime, the implications for LGBTQ API individuals are extensive. Yet while the number of anti-violence programs serving Asian and Pacific Islander communities has grown considerably over the last decades, there is little research and still very few culturally-specific resources for LGBTQ survivors of gender-based violence.

This webinar will offer a framework for understanding Asian and Pacific Islander LGBTQ experiences of gender-based violence, and the multiple barriers that these survivors face when seeking support. Integrating highlights from the Institute’s September 2019 Roundtable on API LGBTQ communities, this presentation will provide ideas and recommendations for organizations to engage and serve API LGBTQ survivors more effectively.

Published by International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHC)

May 2014

Click the link below to read more, download the report, the executive summary, country-specific chapters or factsheets, or watch accompanying videos from outrightinternational.org:

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